As always, Super Bowl LVII was among the biggest American sporting events of the year, with a sold-out crowd of more than 70,000 fans and an estimated 113 million viewers nationwide.
While it was a massive event with billions of dollars in economic activity and a championship on the line, it was also a prominent target for cybercriminals, making Cisco the MVP behind the scenes of the Great Game. The more people, places, and things that are connected via the Internet, the more protection they need. So, to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted game day, the NFL and its official cybersecurity partner Cisco, the global tech giant, created the best game plan to ensure the cybersecurity of everyone involved, from players to fans. .
Former NFL player Dante Hall spoke with Tomás Maldonado, the NFL’s director of information security, about what it took to defend Super Bowl LVII. “My team worked tirelessly to collaborate with everyone at the national, state and local levels. We tried and tested things over the months leading up to it and ultimately relied on our partner Cisco to ensure we have the best playbook in the business,” he explained. Maldonado.
He went on to say that “more preparation was needed, building on our success last year, tightening up our security protocols and making sure we had the best technology and talent.” [to pull it off].” But it’s not just about preparation.
Distinguished Cisco cybersecurity engineer Mike Storm described the company’s approach to the Super Bowl as similar to a football coach’s approach to a big game. He said Cisco uses the most up-to-date monitoring and threat data to make sure they know what the environment is going to look like before and on game day.
“We go into every project with a game plan. A lot of the skills we bring to the table are the same ones that are needed to play the field,” Storm said. He likened Cisco’s maneuvers to those of a quarterback, constantly maximizing visibility and assessing threats up close and beyond.
“When that flashy linebacker comes along, it’s the responsibility of the running back to execute a block to protect the quarterback as he goes through his progressions,” Storm told Hall. “Cisco uses its security technology to give the NFL maximum visibility into its network and multiple layers of defense to ensure it can take the right action to complete the game plan and ultimately succeed. With so much at stake , we can’t afford to fail. So we won’t.”
And it was worth it! According to Cisco, a large amount of traffic was handled smoothly across the network, with nearly 17,000 security intelligence events blocked and more than 400,000 blocked connections to and from blacklisted areas of the world.
“We received millions of queries, with thousands blocked or investigated, and every potential attack denied,” Storm said.
The work does not stop there. Maldonado says the NFL is becoming a global league, which means it will need to be more connected and protected than ever. “There is no offseason. We are already preparing and looking towards the Draft,” Maldonado said. “Fans are demanding to get even more involved and be a part of the experience. This means there are more devices and more data that require instant visibility.”
That’s why when the game plan calls for the best protection, the NFL trusts Cisco.